FTSE 100 companies are consistently understating the life expectancy of people in their retirement schemes in a move which disguises the real size of pension deficits, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Industry experts say if these companies used more up-to-date assumptions the true size of the combined pensions black hole could be as much as £40bn higher, almost double the existing deficit estimates, says the paper.
The disparity between the way companies make assumptions about longevity was disclosed this week in a report comparing BT and Royal Mail. BT uses data which assumes scheme members will on average die two years earlier than at Royal Mail.
According to John Ralfe, the report's author, a two-year increase in BT's assumptions would increase BT's liabilities by £3bn to £41.2bn and more than double its deficit to £5.5bn.
MORE THAN 1,000 Names who used to underwrite policies at Lloyd's of London have failed in their attempt to claim £1bn from the government over alleged failures to regulate the insurance market, according to the Guardian.
A high court judge yesterday threw out the case, which was brought by business figures, politicians and other wealthy individuals, saying there was no basis for their claim.
Names, which include two members of David Cameron's shadow cabinet, had argued the Treasury failed to implement an EU directive on insurance regulation which might have helped them avoid their losses.
MAN GROUP pushed up pre-tax profits by a third to $766m in the first half, driven by record sales of $10.6bn both to professional City investors and the individual super-rich, says the Times.
As he reported funds under management had jumped $6.9bn to $56.8bn in the six months to the end of September, Stanley Fink said Man had an "outstanding" first half and said he was bullish about the group's prospects for the full year.
Managed funds had increased in the past five weeks to about $58bn, he said.
Man increased the dividend at the halfway stage by 40% to 7.3 cents a share.
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